Electrophysiology

The cardiac subspecialty of electrophysiology (EP) diagnoses and treats arrhythmias. This includes use of pacemakers to treat bradycardia, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) for tachycardia, heart failure and patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest, and cardiac ablation treatments to treat heart rhythm disorders.

Illustration of a left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) procedure using a Watchman device. Image courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medicine. #LAA #LAAO

Oversized devices are becoming more common as time goes on, which suggests operators are growing increasingly comfortable with this treatment choice.

Sphere-9 mapping and ablation catheter

A randomized study of more than 450 patients with persistent atrial fibrillation is now underway. All patients have been treated, and their outcomes will be tracked for 12 months. 

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VT storm is associated with a heightened risk of death or significant complications. Early catheter ablation, it seems, is the most effective treatment option for this potentially fatal condition. 

New data from the Phase 3 RAPID clinical trial of etripamil, an investigational calcium channel blocker nasal spray, showed positive results in converting paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) to normal sinus rhythm in the at-home setting. The presentation was featured during a late-breaking clinical trials session at the American Heart Association (AHA) 2022 Scientific Sessions. #AHA22

The drug allows patients to take control over their condition with self administration and the therapy and may help lower healthcare costs and resource utilization by keeping these patients out of emergency rooms. 

Jason Andrade, MD, FRCPC, FHRS, director of electrophysiology, Vancouver General Hospital, clinical associate professor, University of British Columbia, and principal investigator for the PROGRESSIVE AF trial, explains how cryoablation can be used as a front-line treatment for atrial fibrillation (AFib). He presented this late-breaking trial at the American Heart Association (AHA) 2022 meeting, which showed the therapy can be used instead of trying drug therapy first. #AHA22 #EPeeps

Jason Andrade, MD, director of electrophysiology, Vancouver General Hospital, and principal investigator of the PROGRESSIVE AF trial, explains how cryoablation can be used as a frontline treatment for atrial fibrillation (AFib) before drugs in this AHA late-breaker. 

Image from the American Heart Association (AHA) annual scientific sessions where a large amount of late-breaking cardiology science is presented. #AHA #AHA22 #AHA2022

The American Heart Association 2022 Scientific Sessions included 35 late-breaking studies and 39 featured science sessions presented at the meeting in Chicago, Nov. 5-7. Here is the list of all these studies with links to more information on the data.

Medtronic’s Arctic Front cryoballoon catheters

“The evidence shows increasingly that it’s time to rethink how we approach the treatment of AFib,” one researcher said.

A transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure being performed at Intermountain Healthcare. Image from Intermountain Healthcare. Sex differences in TAVR one-year mortality.

Atrial fibrillation and peripheral artery disease, for example, are both predictors of mortality among women, but not men. 

The American College of Cardiology and Heart Rhythm Society issued a joint statement soon after CMS published its final rule for the 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The groups warned that the final rule could threaten patient access to high-quality care. Medicare cuts may harm patient care.

The American College of Cardiology and Heart Rhythm Society issued a joint statement soon after CMS published its final rule for the 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The groups warned that the final rule could threaten patient access to high-quality care. 

David Bennett with two of his physical therapists at the University of Maryland Medical Center. #pigheart #pighearttransplant #heartfailure

“This was a true milestone for research on xenotransplantation," one specialist said. The full analysis is scheduled to be presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2022 in Chicago.

USPSTF updates its stance on aspirin use to prevent CVD, sees no benefit for patients 60 or older.

While some heart failure medications are less effective in patients with concomitant atrial fibrillation, new research suggests that is not the case for dapagliflozin.

E-cig. Using e-cigarettes may be associated with a heightened risk of atrial fibrillation (AFib) or other heart rhythm issues, according to new research published in Nature Communications.

“The findings of this study are important because they provide fresh evidence that the use of e-cigarettes could interfere with normal heart rhythms—something we did not know before,” according to one specialist. 

Around the web

“This type of screening could be used to identify individuals who would benefit from statin medication but are currently untreated," one specialist said. The full analysis will be presented at RSNA 2022 in Chicago. 

U.S. physicians might be missing out on innovative medical research due to the overwhelming amount of reading and clinical work they are faced with, according to a recent survey.

Physicians are now bracing for payment cuts after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published its final rule for the 2023 Physician Fee Schedule.

   
   
   
   
   
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